Kings Look To End Four Game Skid in New Orleans: Game Preview


February 6, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Hornets power forward Gustavo Ayon (15, left) and Sacramento Kings power forward DeMarcus Cousins (15, right) battle for position during the second half of a game at the New Orleans Arena. The Kings defeated the Hornets 100-92. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The Sacramento Kings prepare to take on the New Orleans Hornets in a Sunday afternoon game in their fifth attempt at winning 20 games.

The Kings and Hornets both enter today’s game with a 19-37 record, and have had equally dismal seasons. New Orleans is not very far removed from its own relocation drama, after the team was seized by the NBA then sold to Tome Benson, the current owner of the New Orleans Saints. The Hornets have had a rough season with injuries to two of their starting players as well as the Anthony Davis’ adjustment to the NBA.

The Kings have allowed their opponents to score an average of 115.3 points during this recent four game losing streak. The Kings cannot sustain a fast enough paced offense to compete with teams scoring over 100 points. the Kings season average is 97.1 points while their opponents are averaging 104.2 points per game.

If the Kings hope to have any chance at winning any of their remaining 26 games, they will need to recommit themselves to playing tough defense, and helping each other in mismatch situations.

The Kings have started to show that they are capable of coming out, and controlling the tempo early in games, but often have reverted back to poor habits of not moving the ball, and playing too much one on one offense. The Kings do not have a go-to player late in games, and haven’t been able to find consistency from their starting line-up. The Kings will need to play as a team and maintain the energy throughout the whole game.

The Kings are averaging under 20 assists per game at 19.8, while their opponents are averaging 24.2 assists per game. The Kings carelessness with the ball does not help as the do not distribute the ball well enough to play one on one style basketball; often leading to multiple turnovers. Sacramento is tied at 28th in turnovers committed.Simply put, the Kings will need to take care of the ball as they face a New Orleans team that is capable of getting into the open court and scoring in the fast break offense.

Probable Starters:

Sacramento Kings

5 John Salmons Forward
34 Jason Thompson Forward
15 DeMarcus Cousins Center
13 Tyreke Evans Guard
22 Isaiah Thomas Guard

New Orleans Hornets

0 Al-Farouq Aminu Forward
23 Anthony Davis Forward
15 Robin Lopez Center
21 Greivis Vasquez Guard
10 Eric Gordon Guard